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Sanfords take back their tasting room

Richard and Thekla Sanford have reclaimed the former Sanford tasting room facility in Santa Rita Hills for their new brand, Alma Rosa.

This represents a further settling of fallout from the 2004 legal settlement and division of interests between Sanford founders Richard and Thekla and Terlato Wine Group (formerly Paterno Wines International).

Terlato had made an equitable capital investment in Sanford and took over marketing duties in 2002. Alma Rosa was formed by the Sanfords after the ownership rift at Sanford, which was due to ‘philosophical differences’ between Sanford and Terlato, according to Alma Rosa business manager Robert Szerwo.

The first Alma Rosa wines were released in 2006.

Terlato Wine Group now owns the Sanford Winery and Vineyards brand and recently completed a new tasting room facility on the Sanford Winery estate.

Former Sanford tasting room manager Chris Burroughs, a minor celebrity himself since his cameo appearance in the movie ‘Sideways,’ has stuck with his original bosses and will manage the Alma Rosa Winery’s tasting room.

  • In related news, on 5 November the Terlato Wine Group announced that it had purchased the Sanford and Benedict vineyard from Robert and Janice Atkin.

    This vineyard, in Santa Rita Hills, had long been an important source of Sanford’s flagship single vineyard Pinot Noir and also supplied fruit to renowned labels like Au Bon Climat, Longoria and Bonnacorsi.

    Terlato vice president of winemaking Doug Fletcher and Sanford winemaker Steve Fennell said they believed it could become the ‘Chambertin of California.’

    Written by Tim Teichgraeber in San Francisco

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